[permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics

Cory Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 18 20:35:04 EDT 2012

Jason, Thanks for this info. What you said about Gleditsia is what I found too, when I researched. Just wondered if I was missing something! I love those trees for many reasons - have planted hundreds at Pine Ridge in South Dakota and they are tough trees (which they need to be), but not sure they would do so well in Zone 9B in Florida. Maybe I'll try it and see! I forgot about false indigo so thank you for reminding me. That might work for one site i'm working. I do have a lot of smaller plants I use like cowpea, pigeon pea, winged bean, long bean, lablab, clitoria, etc. Specifically looking for canopy trees or fast growing fodder trees that provide multiple functions (shade, building soil, etc). I am familiar with the native wax myrtle but not other varieties. 

I've seen the strophostyles helvola, but hadn't yet IDed the Latin name, so thank you. 

Different subject, anybody try Pawlonia in Zone 4, or Zone 9B? 

Koreen Brennan


 From: Jason Gerhardt <jasongerhardt at gmail.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org 
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:07 PM
Subject: [permaculture]  Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) has not been shown to nodulate, but
has been proven to have a higher nitrogen content in biomass than other
non-n-fixers. This indicates it might have some actinorrhizal nitrogen
fixing capability. At any rate, they are likely a low n-fixer. I like them
as a useful dappled shade creating canopy tree though, which might be
helpful for you in the subtropics.

Amorpha fruiticosa is also native to Florida and has been used in alley
cropping trials in the subtropics.

Members of the Myricaceae family (wax-myrtles) fix nitrogen too.

Are you set on nitrogen fixation from a tree? If not, you can use winged
bean, cowpea, strophostyles helvola (which does extremely well on sands and
produces an edible dry-bean crop).

Just some thoughts from my limited experience in the subtropics.

Jason Gerhardt
Designer and Educator
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